{Live} I Taught My Daughter To Throw Like A Girl

May 10, 2011 in All Posts, Parenting

I don’t know if it would be accurate to say I underestimate children, or my own kids in particular, but sometimes I find myself wondering how in the world these tiny, little things can do so much on their own without prompting or guidance from adults.

I’m not referring to walking or talking or learning to climb down the stairs backwards, which a child would learn on her own even if we never coached her at all.  I’m talking about things like a 2 year old teaching herself to use a tricky bubble wand, learning to command an iPhone after a couple of tries so that she has perfected the “swiping” technique and can turn on and access any application without assistance, or perfectly applying Dior’s Rouge Dior lipstick in Mazette without smearing it all over her face.  (Clearly the coordination and tumbling ability did not come from me, but the interest in cosmetics – like her love of shoes – must be genetic).

And I swear we have never taught Sam to throw a ball, but by 11 months he has perfected his overhand throw and boy, can he throw the ball.

On the other hand, Jane has barely managed to master a weak underhanded throw, even after we spent months trying to teach her the skill.  Maybe she can’t throw because we tried to teach her instead of letting her learn how to throw a ball naturally.

Worried that she wouldn’t be able to throw the ball overhead since she was just a baby, we practiced gentle underhanded throws with Jane.  Months later,  she won’t even consider throwing the ball with her hands overhead.  By contrast, Sam, who taught himself how to propel the ball at full speed, would never have considered an underhand throw from the very beginning.

Perhaps it’s not that I underestimate children, but that I overestimate a parent’s role in teaching her child certain things.  Maybe I’m putting too much stock in my ability to teach my kids what I think they should do when it would be more effective and meaningful to concentrate my energies on how I think they should think.

I mean, if Jane throws a ball like a girl, she’ll get by just fine in life.  But if she thinks like I’ve taught her to throw, she won’t survive.

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Chrissy – who has written posts on The Outlaw Mom® Blog – Creative Living in a Conventional World.

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